First build... China Girl kit + Giant Simple Cruiser = Fun

Discussion in 'Photos & Bicycle Builds' started by hmbab2000, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Here goes...

    I will set this up by saying I have about 6 years of GoPed building/riding.
    That turned into an electric obsession.
    I've since moved on, no longer have any.
    This summer I have had the desire the "ride in the wind" and a MB is the solution!

    I bought a "kit" about 2 weeks ago from a local SJ guy.
    He introduced me to this forum, and I have been reading like crazy.
    I decided to build a motorized cruiser, something laid back and comfy!
    I'm 6'2" and weigh in at about 250, so this would have to be a sturdy machine.
    I've been reading about all the different builds, but finding a bike has been the problem.
    I have scoured the CL ads, and chased garage sales, but everything is "not right".
    Found a few, but the price just wasn't right.
    Then this past weekend i found one at the flea market, a Giant Simple Cruiser.
    It was not steel frame, but I went with the brand.

    Over the last few nights I have been tinkering with things and got it almost done.
    Had a few challenges from the frame tubing shape, to the brake not fitting inside the sprocket.
    All have been overcome.
    I picked up an AVID front brake tonight, but the forks are missing the posts to mount, just the tabs are there.
    I'll hit the bike store tomorrow.
    Also, my front tire and wheel exploded last night in the middle of the night!?!
    I heard it, but had no idea till today when I moved the bike and noticed the torn wheel!
    I'll pick up a tube and wheel tomorrow too.

    I have taken a few pictures, but have not finished.
    I'm planning on finishing the build up, then tearing it all down and re-building with new quality bits.
    I'm going to swap the hardware, change the hoses, cut everything to fit, and lock it all into place.
    I'll take lot's of pictures and document the build then.

    Thanks for reading.
     

  2. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    So, yesterday was a success.
    I got my new Ape Hangers in chrome, they are SOO sick!
    I picked up a new tire and tube.
    Of course now I have mis-matched tires.
    I'll need to purchase another white wall for the rear.
    Funny, i found an ad on CL for 2 new white walls, they want $20.
    I think i paid $25 at the shop...
    I'll have to call the guy on CL!!
    Also picked up the brake posts and got the new front brake mounted.
    I cut the cable to length, and it fits perfect!
    Not only that, but it works!
    So now i just have to extend the throttle electronic wires a few inches to "complete" the build.
    Then I'll tear it down again, and start the documentary...
    I can't wait to ride this thing!
     
  3. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    I managed to get these shots off my phone.
    A few progression shots up to last night...

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  4. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    We don't see many Simples motorized. They are great bikes. Adding a front brake was a good call.
     
  5. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Ok, torn down.
    And it only took about 20 minutes..

    I decided to ride the bike, haven't tried it with the bars and the new brakes.
    I took it out and put the wheels on the road.
    What a comfortable position, I like it!

    The front brakes are legit!
    Almost too good, but soo worth it.
    I decided to make a fast run up and stop with a screech..
    Bad idea!
    Snapped the coaster brake lever on the hub!!!
    I had obviously taken too much off in order to fit the sprocket.
    So glad this happened on a test run and not under load, or speed!

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    Other than that little set-back, I'm ready to start the build back up tomorrow.
    I'll pick up a new coaster brake lever, and re-think how heavy it gets modified if at all.
    Might just get a rear brake, and dual pull brake lever...
    First I'll get it back up, and get it running.

    I've got the plate fabbed to mount to motor.
    The front tube is just a little off from the stock bracket.
    The plate will rest on the tube, and the slight bend will support the motor.
    The dual U-bolts will hold it tight!

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    The tank was the only other thing that required some custom working.
    The center tube is too fat and too tall for the stock bolts.
    Also the tapering nature of the tube makes it even more awkward.
    This was my solution, a slight bend to spread the bolts out helped clear the tube.
    Then a couple of custom brackets had to be made.
    A taller one for the front where the tube is really thick, and a shorter one for the rear.
    They work perfect, and are very secure!

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    So, tonight is already done.
    Tomorrow is the beginning.
    Hopefully this coaster brake issue is small, replace and everything is ok.
    I'll be picking up the final pieces...
    Gas, oil, mixing cup...
    Hopefully riding this weekend!
     
  6. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Got more done today!
    Found a new coaster brake lever to replace my hack job.
    Picked it up with a fresh tube of bearing grease.
    Also realized that the rear brake is not an option.
    There is nothing to mount to... Nothing.
    Good thing i ordered the dual cable brake lever already... Doh!

    When I got home the mail man had left a small box...
    My sprocket/hub adapter arrived!!
    Very nice little piece of bling..
    I decided to jump in and get started on the rear wheel assembly.

    I started with the sprocket adapter.
    I thought, since my sprocket was already centered, I'll remove and replace each bracket one by one.
    This did not work so well.
    The actual labor of installing the unit was not hard, but the result was not true at all.
    I ended up loosening all 9 bolts completely, getting it loosely centered, and tightening the center clamp.
    I tightened all 9 bolts until they began to snug, then applied the wrench.
    I did 1, then jumped 4 bolts, following that pattern until all were tight.
    The result was acceptable.
    The adapter does not seat cleanly to the hub.
    It's tight, but not a perfect fit.
    Hopefully that's within the tolerance, it's certainly not going anywhere!

    Once i got the sprocket tight, i moved to the coaster brake assembly.
    Removed it completely and re-greased everything.
    Messy, but done!
    The new lever fit perfect, no grinding required.
    I'm not sure why i took so much off the other one...
    The new one just needed a few bends, and a couple washers.
    Done.

    I'm confident now in the rear end assembly.
    The coaster brake should hold up strong, and the bearings are ready to roll.
    The sprocket is snug and tight.
    The only set back is the rear hand brake, there will be none.
    Unless someone has a MacGyver solution I'll have to settle with front hand and coaster.

    Here are some pic's of the final assembly:

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  7. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    So I woke early this morning and decided to mount the motor.
    All went well.
    The new custom plate is spot on.
    The 2 U-bolts are solid, as well as the rear mount!
    That thing won't be moving any time soon!

    I think it is pretty true, centered, in the frame.
    Looks to have a good angle of operation as well.
    One more piece of the puzzle...

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  8. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Allrighty then, all set for fuel...

    Got home and got started finishing.
    Next in line was the gas tank.
    It was fairly simple since the brackets were already prepped.
    The front bracket is longer to accomodate the taller tube towards the neck.
    As you can see from the pictures, the posts were bent slightly outward.
    This was to give them a bit of room to accept the bolts once through the bracket.
    Got things set into place then applied the wrench.

    Then the pipe was ready to be put on.
    It, as well, was an easy application.
    The pipe was already "gently loved" into workable position.
    Notice the love taps in pictures...

    Clutch assembly was installed next.
    I need to replace the 3 bolts holding the clutch arm cover.
    They seem to want to strip.
    The carb, fuel cable, and fuel line got hooked up.
    The carb just doesn't want to stay tight, spins on the manifold.
    I'll have to run it and see if it comes loose at all.
    The chain tensioner was laid into postion, lined up, and the wrench was applied.
    The result is VERY straight!
    I am a little concerned about the amount of slack, but it worked that way.
    Hopefully the tensioner does the job!

    Last was the electronics.
    I had to extend the length from the throttle, due to the high bars.
    I soldered in a length of speaker wire, hooked things up, and went crazy with zip ties!
    Then it was time to let her see some sun, and take some pictures...
    Tomorrow is the final test... Gas.

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  9. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    First ride is in the books.

    Bike started up fairly easy.
    It took a few tries at the "bump" start method, but i got it.
    Then i had to get the idle set, that was a fun juggling act.
    After all that I went for a small spin around the block.

    First thing i noticed is noise.
    Several strange noises coming from the motor.
    One sounds like shaking metal, it sounds like it is coming from inside the head.
    It might just be the sound of the cylinder moving.
    The other one that was bugging me was chain noise at the pinion gear.
    You can really hear that thing spinning in there!

    Once i got the idol set and was confident nothing was going to fall off, i hit the road.
    I made a destination of a relative, about 10 miles away.
    I took several different road conditions to get there.
    The whole time trying to keep a low steady rev.
    A couple times the bike got some momentum, and motor tried to go.
    I had to pay attention not to over do it on this first trip, still breaking it in.
    As i reached about 1/4 mile from my destination, my chain came loose!
    The master link was gone!

    I recall hearing a small "plink" sound.
    Like metal had snapped, but paid no bother.
    I think that was when the clip came loose.
    The link gave out as i was decelerating and turning around.

    Afetr about an hour of research and phone calls, I found what i needed, a new master link.
    Or not. These chinese chains are not compatable with anything on the market!
    I did however, locate and buy a new 420 chain.
    It is a bit wider, and it rubbed inside the clutch arm cover.
    I had to remove some metal from the cover that seats behind the chain.
    Once that was done the new chain went on, toughly!
    I had not filed the corners of my pinion, and this chain needed it!
    I took the bike, clutched it, and ran it around the court until the chain wore its way in.
    It worked, but would it hold up?!?

    I loaded up my bag of tools and chain and made the return voyage.
    This time it went better.
    Only the pedal chain came off.
    I looked down at one point and it was hanging there.
    The tire needed to be pulled back a bit and everything tightened up.
    After that i made it home without any further problems.

    I'm guessing it was about 20 miles.
    I got a good feel for the clutch, as well as stopping.
    Lot's of little habits to learn.
    I really like the new machine!
     
  10. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    The metallic engine sound may be the clutch. Remove the clutch cover to see if anything is rubbing the inside of the cover. The chain issue is solved with alignment and tension. You were fortunate because the chain can sometimes jump off and tear a few spokes out of the rear wheel. Check the chain alignment. The tensioner must be in alignment between front and rear sprockets or it can derail the chain. Sit behind the bike on the ground and see if the chain line seems to match sprocket alignment. If not, you may be able to correct it by adding or trimming some spacers on the rear wheel axle to match up sprocket and chain alignment. Chain should be tensioned to allow 1/4" up and down movement. Don't ever ride with a loose chain. Since you have a coaster wheel, tension the pedal chain first with rear wheel location. Then adjust the motor chain with the tensioner. Things will come together with a few tweaks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  11. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    The clutch is doing well.
    The clutch noise is mostly chain on the drive sprocket.
    I did notice that with the clutch cover removed, spinning the center 3 posts, the entire unit wobbles.
    Alsmost as if the drive shaft is bent.
    Not a lot, but you can see the large plates moving.
    I figured it up to "precision machining at the factory" lol.
    Some movement must be acceptable, and it didn't seem to affect the ride...

    As for chain alignment, i feel i'm pretty dead on with that one.
    It went together pretty true, no shimming required, just attention.
    I think, too, i was lucky the way it tossed the link.
    I was going pretty slow, due to a turn around, and I was paying attention!
     
  12. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Uh oh...
    Found a problem with the new chain.
    It's rubbing the rear frame, cutting it.
    The chain is wider than the stock chain, and here is where it is rubbing....
    I wonder if it wonder if it will be ok?
    The bar narrows down right there, and the rubbed part is still bigger than the narrow part...
    But is it hollow? Will it break?

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  13. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    So I tried a few things to "help" the chain situation.
    I leaned the tensioner just enough to pull away from the frame.
    It still appears to rub, however.
    There still reveals aluminum dust after each ride.
    I've already ordered the replacement chain.
    But I will have to source a new bike.

    I'm hunting for a steel frame.
    I think i have a lead on one.
    It's an old red schwinn...
    This could be good.
     
  14. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I'm really sorry about that chain rubbing issue. You had a great build going there. And thanks for all the photos. It's always nice to get a lot of views of a bike.

    Maybe your bike is not destroyed yet. But that chainstay damage is worrying. And it certainly can't stand any more of that.

    Maybe the new, old, red Schwinn is the best idea. It ought to be a cool bike, too.
     
  15. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Well, i took it for a few more rides, and it's holding tough!
    I haven't lost any bolts, but I'm on top of it every ride.
    I've almost got a gallon through it, and it runs great.

    I found that I had forgotten completely about the choke.
    The lever was stuck about half way open, causing all kinds of weird feelings.
    Lot's of 4 stroking was going on, that has eliminated itself by learnig the correct choke position.

    I also took the bike to the local shop and showed them the frame.
    They felt that it was going to be fine.
    They did not believe it was going to break, or crack.
    They actually said not to worry, the frame will be fine?!?

    I've deiced to worry less, but still find that new bike.
    This just means no hurry, take my time!
    I'll enjoy many more rides!
    Summer is here!
     
  16. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Here she is, parked...
    Maybe 75 miles so far.
    Got the back tire switched to a whitewall.
    And, as you can see, i got my Bullet light installed.
    I'll be putting a nice ride on it today...

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  17. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    So things are going well.
    I have rolled about 3 tanks of gas through the motor.
    The motor seems to have "broken-in".
    It takes about 2 minutes of peddling to get her warmed up.
    I have not had a mechanical problems yet.
    Aside from throwing the chain on my first ride, I found the master-link clip on the carpet @home!
    I don't think i ever put the clip over the master link!!
    Yowza!!! Lesson learned!

    I have purchased and installed a pipe, bought from Bikeberry.
    The stock motor just seemed to be sleeping, the pipe was supposed to wake it up.
    It, of course, did not bolt on.
    I had to cut and weld to give myself the right angle.
    The end product is kick-butt!
    A nice little power band on take off, and another at higher speed.
    Though the high speed one has not been explored yet.

    I got a replacement stock chain back on there.
    As well, I flipped the sprocket over so the teeth are near the spokes.
    This made more room, obviously, for the chain near the frame.
    Take a look at the results of the old chain rubbing.
    It actually made a hole in the frame..
    According to the Giant dealer, "Don't worry about it, it's fine"
    He said unless there are 10 of me on the bike, it should be fine.

    I have a short list of things still to do, but they are fine for now.
    I just cut my oil/fuel mix a bit, that should change things a little.
    I'm going to ride with the pipe for a while, see what that needs or creates.
    Every time i do a little maintenance, I apply a dab of grease on the clutch gears.
    Otherwise, ready to roll down the road.


    Here are some pictures:

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  18. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    An update...

    Lots of fun riding this beast!
    I got a new cabled speedometer, it works perfect!
    I have taken the bike up to 35.
    However, it cruises at 26-30 very nicely!
    That's just what i wanted!

    I could not be happier with this creation.
    At final tally I'm into the entire project about $530.
    Not bad.

    I'll keep posting, and reading for more fun!
    The road has many miles ahead now...
     
  19. hmbab2000

    hmbab2000 Member

    Another update, and improvement!

    I found that the pipe was exhausting directly on to my right foot.
    This was resulting in some VERY smelly shoes!
    I decided to cut the "muffler" end of the pipe off and re-direct the flow.
    After much consideration a 6" extension was installed.
    The first weld was too high, and hit the bottom of the crank.
    I tried to bend it in a vice, pound it with a hammer, nothing!
    Had to cut and re-weld the extension, hopefully that explains the nasty looking welds.
    I'll get some pipe wrap and cover the extension.
    The resulting placement is perfect, right under the crank.
    No more smelly shoe!

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